Thursday, March 29, 2012

Self-enhancement: The Hidden Value of Good Breeding

People tend to overestimate the level of control they have over events, understanding their contributions as important even when they are actually inconsequential. People stand by their belief that they can affect the results of random systems and even when a relationship exists between actions and outcomes, people still reliably overestimate the importance of that relationship.

For wealthy people, this tendency is much stronger than among ordinary people. This may explain the existence of such absurd social phenomena as aristocracies and hereditary monarchy. When you have so much money, this may distort your perception of the world in such a way that you could actually start to believe it makes sense for your children to inherit the extremely powerful position you hold simply by virtue of them being your children.

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